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Postdoctoral Fellows

Applications for the 2024-2026 C-CoMP Postdoctoral Fellowship Cohort will be opening early spring 2024.

C-CoMP Postdoctoral Fellowships


Program Details

The NSF Center for Chemical Currencies of a Microbial Planet (C-CoMP) invites applications for 2-year postdoctoral fellowships that will significantly advance the Center’s goal of promoting an understanding of the chemicals and microbial processes that underlie the surface ocean carbon cycle. C-CoMP’s research agenda includes experimental approaches, systems-based modeling from cellular to global scales, and data mining and integration strategies. Example research areas are described in the FAQs.


Up to two postdoctoral fellowships will be awarded in 2023. Applicants must be a US citizen or permanent resident at the time of application; have a Ph.D. in oceanography, the physical, chemical, or biological sciences, or a related field; and have a commitment to working across disciplines. Research plans should focus on surface ocean ecosystems in the fields of microbial ecology, marine chemistry, modeling at any level from cellular to global, or data science. Each applicant must identify a mentor at a U.S. institution; mentors can be C-CoMP PIs (opens in new window), but this is not a requirement.


Postdoctoral support will be awarded directly to the Fellow and can be used at any U.S. institution. Funds must be spent within two years of the start date, which must be on or before September 30, 2023. Fellowships will cover salary ($65,000 per year), personal allowance ($10,000 per year), and supplies ($10,000 per year). Salary and personal allowance payments are made directly to the Fellow as an electronic funds transfer into a personal account at a U.S. financial institution. The application submission deadline is April 15, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is eligible?

To be eligible you must be a U.S. citizen (or national) or a U.S. permanent resident at the time of application. Fellowships will be awarded to early-career scientists receiving a Ph.D. after October 31, 2020 and prior to September 30, 2023. Funds will be provided directly to the Fellow, and can be used at any US academic or research institution. Fellows must have a sponsoring faculty member at the institution who will provide space, necessary instruments and supplies (if the $10K annual supply allowance is insufficient for the proposed work), and mentorship. Applicants are encouraged to work with their sponsor to develop the fellowship proposal.

2. How long is the fellowship?

Funding is provided for a 2-year period that must begin on or before September 30, 2023. 

3. What areas of research will be funded?

The fellowships will support research that advances the understanding of the metabolite-microbe network of the surface ocean. Proposals can emphasize biological, chemical, informatic, or modeling approaches, or combinations of these. Example areas include microbial synthesis or transformation of labile organic carbon; metabolite identification; ecological or biogeochemical roles of bioreactive molecules; informatic approaches to microbial-metabolite interactions; and modeling carbon flux at the cellular to global scales. Proposals are not limited to these example areas.

4. What information is required in the outreach/education statement?

C-CoMP is committed to full integration across science, education, and outreach activities and has a variety of programs with which the postdoctoral fellow can collaborate. This statement should indicate an activity of interest to the applicant and include a description as to how the applicant would like to contribute.

5. What are some guidelines for writing the DEI contribution statement?

C-CoMP is committed to promoting equity and inclusion in ocean science research to enhance diversity in the ocean science workforce. We seek to amplify voices and perspectives from historically marginalized groups, including underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities (individuals who identify as African American or Black, Hispanic or Latinx, American Indian or Alaskan Native and/or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander) as well as from individuals who would bring other dimensions of diversity to ocean science (e.g., sexual, gender, ability, socioeconomic). Your statement should describe how you envision advancing diversity in the Center and in the ocean sciences, the unique experiences and/or perspectives you will bring to the Center and your postdoctoral work, and how you anticipate promoting equity and inclusion during your time as a postdoctoral fellow. How might you draw on your past experiences and activities to move yourself and the Center forward?

6. How does the application process work?

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of C-CoMP scientists including chemical, biological, and/or informatics/modeling expertise. Panel review will begin after April 15, 2023.

7. What happens if I am selected?

C-CoMP funding will be provided directly to fellows through a process administered by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. As part of the process of accepting the fellowship, Fellows will need to provide documentation from the host institution that the terms and conditions of the fellowship are acceptable and that the Fellow will be provided adequate mentoring, space, basic services, needed resources, and supplies.

8. Are there provisions for paid parental or family leave?

Within the fellowship period, one month per year of fellowship duration may be used for paid leave, including parental or family leave. The paid leave cannot be used to increase the duration of the fellowship.

9. How can the personal allowance funds be used? 

The fellowship includes a personal allowance of $10,000 per year. This allowance is intended to cover health insurance and other health and welfare expenses. Allowable costs include individual or family health insurance (any combination of medical, vision, and/or dental) whether purchased as a group or individual plan, disability insurance, retirement savings, and/or dependent care expenses. The Fellow should keep records to document expenditures.

10. How can the supplies funds be used? 

The fellowship includes a research allowance of $10,000 per year. This allowance is intended to cover research- and training-related costs. Allowable research and training costs include travel, such as short-term visits to other institutions or laboratories, fieldwork, and attendance at scientific meetings, training, special equipment, IT equipment and software, supplies, publication costs, access fees for databases, and other research-related expenses. The Fellow should keep records to document expenditures. Funds will be reimbursed through WHOI's financial system, with training and assistance provided by C-CoMP administrative staff based at WHOI.

11. What are the additional benefits of being a C-CoMP Postdoctoral fellow?

The Fellows will engage actively with the broader C-CoMP community and will have access to Center funds to support laboratory exchange opportunities, travel to Center meetings, and open access publications.

12. Can I apply for a C-CoMP Postdoctoral fellow to stay in the lab where I am currently a Ph.D student?

We strongly encourage applicants to identify a mentor and lab that is different from where they obtained their Ph.D. However, applicants already in a postdoctoral position may propose a research project with their current mentor.

12. Who is available to answer questions regarding my application?

For issues with application submission or access to application materials or questions regarding the education/outreach statement or DEI statement, contact Victoria Centurino (